Family Patterns
Darcie Bernhardt, Ninguqing, 2021. Oil on canvas, 181.61 x 121.92 cm. Courtesy of the artistLetitia Fraser, Silent Warrior of God, 2021. Oil on upholstery, 60.9 × 60.9 cm. Courtesy of the artist

Family Patterns

Saturday, 16 October 2021 to Monday, 21 February 2022

Artists: Darcie Bernhardt and Letitia Fraser

Darcie Bernhardt and Letitia Fraser’s paintings build on traditional portraiture. Designed as a conversation between artists — their cultural rituals, family, and memory — Family Patterns understands motifs of home as ancestral and contemporary memory-keeping. Layering cultural and domestic references specific to both artists’ lives, Bernhardt and Fraser draw upon rhythms and patterns within speech, textiles, and their own community histories to express their identities and experiences through painting. From the Northern Inuvialuit hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk and the local African Nova Scotian communities of North Preston and Beechville, Bernhardt and Fraser explore storytelling and language as an act of decolonial memory preservation, ensuring their own histories are recorded, remembered, represented, and honoured.

Curated by: Aiden Gillis with Sarah Moore Fillmore
Exhibition Design by: Jody Burry

Supported by: Charles Anthony Law and Jane Shaw Law Charitable Trust

The Artists

Photo by Lisa GravesDarcie “Ouiyaghasiak” Bernhardt is an Inuvialuk and Gwich’in artist from Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, and is currently based in Halifax, Nova scotia. Bernhardt was raised in Tuktoyaktuk where the ocean’s harsh winds carve into the Western Arctic landscape, an ecosystem that fosters transformation and nurtures powerful familial bonds. Their work explores visual storytelling as tradition, as birthright, as decolonial memory preservation – building their role as a memory-keeper. Bernhardt completed a 2019 BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and has been actively participating in residencies and festivals internationally. Bernhardt received the Indigenous Artist Recognition Award from Arts Nova Scotia (2020). Photo by Lisa Graves.

Instagram: ouiyaghasiak


Letitia Fraser is an interdisciplinary artist, with a focus in painting and textile arts. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Fraser is a proud descendant of African Nova Scotian communities, North Preston and Beechville.

Coming from a long line of artists, her artistic interest was nurtured early in life. Fraser’s work centers around the African Nova Scotian experience, showing life through the lens of an African Nova Scotian woman. As a painter, Letitia draws inspiration from her family and community’s history of quilts.

Fraser completed a BFA at NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2019, and has participated in several solo and group exhibitions.

Instagram: newscotlandblack



Stitched Together: Art and Memory with Darcie Bernhardt

Stitched Together: Stories, Art and Family with Letitia Fraser